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Health and the Internet

 

Vol. 6, No. 7, 28/10/2005

From the editor, Yvette Nielsen

Abraham Lincoln said it best: "In the end it's not the years in your life
that count. It's the life in your years."

My partner’s mother died recently of advanced breast cancer at the age of
64. Jane had hidden the disease from her family and friends until just a
few weeks before her death, preferring to fight the battle quietly her way
- “no slash, burn or poison”, as she put it colourfully.

To the end, Jane insisted she would beat the cancer that had emaciated her
small body but never defeated her strong spirit. Two days before she died
she hosted a champagne brunch for her closest friends and enjoyed every
minute.

It was too late for “miracle” cures, experimental drugs, conventional or
alternative treatments to save her life.

But she never gave up hope, even asking me to order some special
meditation CDs from the US for her over the Net (sadly, they arrived too
late).

Some medical professionals warn patients against using the Internet to
self diagnose, research their illnesses or “waste” money on alternative
therapies and products.

Type “cancer” in Google and you’ll be overwhelmed with more than 300
million results.

The Pew Internet Project
(http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/156/report_display.asp) found that eight
in 10 Internet users in the US have looked for health information online,
with increased interest in diet, fitness, drugs, health insurance,
experimental treatments, and particular doctors and hospitals.

When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma five years ago, my first
instinct was to go online and find out more. I scared myself witless and
immediately followed the advice of my excellent radiation oncologist to
begin radiotherapy ASAP.

Ironically, had we not searched the Net for symptoms matching Jane’s, we
might never have known the truth or had the chance to share her final
weeks.

I’m extremely fortunate to survive cancer so far but Jane was a survivor
too - she lived her life on her terms, her time. She might not be here
physically but her indomitable spirit lives on in her children,
grandchildren and all who knew her.

These links might be useful for anyone else touched by cancer -

Cancer Story (http://www.cancerstory.org/) An excellent PBS series in
easy-to-understand language with videos, transcripts and resource links.

Cancer Council Australia (http://www.cancer.org.au/) Australian resources
for research, treatment, products, prevention and patient support.

National Cancer Institute of the US (http://www.cancer.gov/) This site won
a Webby Award for best health site in 2005.

Where to get information online (http://www.cancerguide.org/online.html) A
guide to quality sites on cancer generally and on specific cancers.

Cancer Comic Strip (http://www.cancercomicstrip.blogspot.com/) Laughter is
among the best medicines. UK colleague Suzan St Maur (author of
Powerwriting and recently diagnosed with breast cancer) has started a
humorous web blog about the disease ... “entirely personal,
non-commercial, not selling or buying anything”.


Yvette (mailto:yvette@brizcomm.com.au)

PS see the latest example of poor web writing on my "Cut The Crap" blog -
and send me any gems you find (good or bad).


Web content tip

Be careful if you’re hiring someone to design, build or write web content
- you might not own the finished work.

The creator is often the legal owner, unless you have a written agreement
stating otherwise or the creator is a full-time employee.

You need to agree at the outset who owns what and how you can use it.

Technically, you can’t reproduce graphics and text specifically created
for one medium (eg web) in another medium (eg print).

I usually assign rights to smaller clients on completion of a web job
(it’s goodwill) but I know many graphic designers who don’t.

Be sure to negotiate what will happen - and how much it will cost - if you
later want to change designers, web hosts, programmers, writers or other
professionals.

Copyright laws vary between countries. If in doubt, seek legal advice
before the job starts.

Copyright in Australia... - http://www.copyright.org.au/



At your service

Have questions about web sites, e-newsletters, blogs, e-learning,
intranets or some other online publishing project?

Need an objective site critique or plain-English advice on information
architecture, navigation, usability, strategy, design and layout,
e-marketing, writing and editing...?

Email me (mailto:yvette@brizcomm.com.au) now to discuss your needs for
coaching, consulting or training.

Consulting services... - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/consulting/



Email tip

Checking email can easily become a chore with the vast amounts of garbage
being sent to us these days.

Try these five fast email productivity tips.

Get productive... -
http://www.43folders.com/2005/02/15/five-fast-email-productivity-tips/



NEW in the shop

* Web Project Planning Kit (includes my own tried-and-trusted
Pre-Development Questionnaire, Web Requirements Kit, and Content Inventory
Template)

* Odd Bods E-booklet (50 of the most bizarre web sites about the human
body)

* Pollyanna (kitchen wisdom, humour and nostalgia from a 'silver surfer')

Find out more... - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/shop/



Readers write

"You featured a web page of mine a number of years ago- Just wanted to let
you know I now have a domain, and the page is much better than before, if
you want to take the time to check it out. It should be good for a laugh.
Enjoy!"-Doug Bizarre Video Games (http://www.bizarrevideogames.com/)


Surf Club (web site reviews)

The world’s greatest Halloween costumes
(http://www.retrocrush.com/archive2003/costumes/) Find inspiration for
your next fancy-dress party at this online collection of the best - and
worst - costumes.
In a net shell: Nostalgia trip.

Sorry Gotta Go (http://www.sorrygottago.com/) No need to invent an excuse
to hang up on annoying telemarketers - any of these audio clips should do
the trick, from “the baby is crying” to “the car alarm just went off”.
In a net shell: Phone fools.

Evite (http://www.evite.com/) Plan your next social gathering with the
help of this site featuring themed invitations, celebration ideas,
recipes, gift suggestions and co-ordination help. Though much of the
information is US focused, it’s a great tool to organise a private
function anywhere.
In a net shell: Host help.

More web site reviews... - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/surf/default.asp



Reader choice

Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical
(http://isnt.autistics.org/)
Could this be you? Take the test and find out.
- submitted by Carol W, US

Book Promotion Newsletter (http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com/) Covers
all aspects of promoting books including marketing tips, publicity from a
publicist's point of view, writers' web sites and self-publishing.
- submitted by Francine, US


Food for thought

"Cancer changes your life, often for the better. You learn what's
important, you learn to prioritize, and you learn not to waste your time.
You tell people you love them. My friend Gilda Radner (who died of ovarian
cancer in 1989 at age 42) used to say, 'If it wasn't for the downside,
having cancer would be the best thing and everyone would want it.' That's
true. If it wasn't for the downside."

* Excerpt from PEOPLE Weekly's August 6, 2001 issue. - Joel Siegel, Good
Morning America movie critic.

More quotes & jokes... - http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/



Top links from last issue

The 46 Best Freeware Utilities
(http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm)

Cut The Crap web log (http://www.livejournal.com/users/crapblog/)

Happy Dog’s Fun Links (http://my.core.com/~oldgrendel/funlinks.htm)


Friends and sponsors

Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra (http://www.sakya.com.au/)
Home of Lama Choedak Rinpoche, one of the few meditation masters in
Australia. The Society supports the teachings and meditation practices of
Tibetan Buddhism, in particular those of the Sakya Lineage, as well as
promoting Tibetan culture in general.

Inspiring Leaders and Advancing Women (http://www.deborahmay.com/) Two
great e-newsletters from Australian organisational development expert
Deborah May packed with practical tips, advice, encouragement and support
to help you achieve your potential at work.

Net Guide for Aussie Journos (http://www.journoz.com/)
Find experts, contacts and Net-based sources of Australian facts, figures
and background information in Belinda Weaver's guide to Internet
information sources for Australian journalists. And keep up to date with
what’s new via Belinda's blog.
(http://journoz.com/) WANT TO SWAP LINKS OR ADVERTISE HERE?
Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au (mailto:yvette@brizcomm.com.au)


Client testimonials

Comments from recent clients -

"Your independent assessment of our web site confirmed a number of our
suspicions and raised a few important considerations to take us to the
next step. Thank you for both the quality and the promptness you fulfilled
our request. It was an important first step in a major re-evaluation of
our
web site." - Michelle Bryne, Corporate Communications Manager, Newcastle
City Council.

“Yvette created a supportive atmosphere where no question was too stupid
to be asked. She was very approachable and easy to listen to - speaking in
plain English without any jargon.” - Communication Officer, Brisbane.

"Yvette has the uncanny ability to make complex issues sound simple and
interesting at the same time. I couldn't wait to get back to working on
our web site - I was left bursting full of ideas." - Senior Communication
Officer, State Government

Accelerate the learning curve and save time, money and frustration - book
your workshop (http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops/) , critique
(http://www.brizcomm.com.au/consulting/) or coaching
(http://www.brizcomm.com.au/consulting/) session with Yvette
(mailto:yvette@brizcomm.com.au) today.

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Remember, this newsletter is shareware. If you found value in it, please
forward a copy to a friend or colleague and suggest they sign up. Cheers.


[Send to Friend link]
(http://www.vision6.com.au/em/mail/friend.php?id=0&k=e109eed)

Yvette Nielsen, Editor - phone 61 (0)41 771 8683
37 Hannan Crescent Ainslie ACT 2602 Australia

© 2000-2005 Brizcomm Pty Ltd

We accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability for any incorrect
information in articles, sites or events in this newsletter. If links do
not work, try again later - sometimes the host server for a listed site
might be down temporarily. Privacy policy
(http://www.brizcomm.com.au/privacy.asp)

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